Russell Wilson – Write Your Story

Russell Wilson shares how asking yourself ‘What am I capable of?’ is the difference between chasing your potential and realizing it.


My dad passed away. Before I walked through the door, I could see the EKG moving just fine. Beep, beep, beep. I take one step into the door and I say, “Dad, I’m here.” Beep. The line goes flat. I miss my dad every single day. He gave me so much, and maybe most of all, he gave me the gift of perspective.

I remember playing t-ball as a kid, and not to brag but I was a really good t-ball player. I’m talking about really good. I remember thinking, “You know, I could be something special one day.” My dad thought I might be getting ahead of myself, so he’d set me straight. He’d say, “Son, potential just means you haven’t done it yet.”

Already in my career I’ve seen that lots of people have potential, but not everyone does it. The question isn’t whether you have something to offer to the world. You definitely have something to offer to the world. The question is how, and whether you’ll do it. I’ve learned that the difference isn’t the way people handle themselves when things go well. The moments that really matter are the moments when life tells you no.

Let me put it this way. I love singing. Dancing machine, smooth criminal, this guy. But no matter how badly I want to be a pop star, I cannot sing. The question I asked when life told me no was, “What am I capable of?” I knew I could throw a football and move really well. I knew I had the focus, I knew I had the ability to succeed, so a few days after our first meeting I walked back into my coaches office chest big, feeling good and I said, “Coach, I’m gonna be your starting quarterback. I’m gonna play the National Football League for a long time, I’m gonna win multiple Super Bowls, I’m gonna be a Hall of Fame quarterback. What do you think?”

Three days later he named me a starting quarterback. When life tells you no, ask yourself honestly, “What am I capable of?” Find a way to keep things in perspective. That doesn’t make painful moments any less painful, but it does mean you don’t have to live forever in the pain. If we know what we’re capable of, if we stay prepared no matter what, if we keep our sense of perspective even when times are tough, then I know that together we’re going to do amazing things with our potential and achieve our greatest dreams.  I would say good luck, but I don’t believe in good luck. Go make it happen. This is my story, now it’s time to write your own.